newsjacking: when you seek to connect your business/product to current news/events, in an attempt to gain attention for yourself or your business.
There really isn’t anything new about newsjacking. David Meerman Scott has a book out about Newsjacking. It has been going on for a long, long time. Today with personal publishing and social media – anyone can attempt to tie their product / service to current news and events. The question is, when will it work and when will it look tacky. Should you try it?
There are ways to do it right. There are ways to do it wrong. This one is wrong.
Toomers Rolls writes, “…we too can preserve their legacy, wrapped in spirit, with Toomers Rolls!” OK, we wrap ourselves in your product and we feel better? We help save the trees?”
No where on their site do I see any mention of – oh, I don’t know – giving proceeds to support the preservation of the trees. Nope. And, even if they had … this is just tacky.
For people not familiar with the poisoning of the Toomer’s Oaks, just know it is a deeply saddening event for our community. ESPN even made a documentary about the Auburn/Alabama rivalry and it focused heavily on the poisoning of the trees, for crying out loud. The Toomer’s Oaks are the centerpiece of one of America’s most enduring and endearing college football traditions.
You don’t do a product tie-in related to tragedy. It just isn’t good practice.
The site is Toomers Rolls. I have been a supporter. You know, alumni trying to start up a product. You want to support them. We even did stories about them, in 2011 when they launched, in class writing assignments – published online to give them attention. This sours the experience. I hope they learn from their mistakes. I contacted them privately. They attempted to deflect and ignore the error.
Sad, really. They had promise.